Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Florida lawmakers complain about radio show that they say degrades women, people with disabilities

From Gainesville Sun staff writer Nathan Crabbe's blog about the University of Florida:

Two state lawmakers have written University of Florida officials to complain about the radio station Rock 104, criticizing segments on the Lex and Terry show (pictured) that they say degrade women and the disabled.

Rep. Joseph Abruzzo, D-Wellington, and Rep. Erik Fresen, R-Miami, sent the letter today to UF President Bernie Machen, College of Journalism and Communications Dean John Wright and UF trustees. The letter criticizes programming on Rock 104, the university-owned commercial radio station.

“It is not our intention to censor positions or views however; subject matter which is dehumanizing and/or degrading to the physically disabled or offensive to a specific gender or race is unacceptable,” the letter said.

The letter mentions several segments on the Lex and Terry show, including “Happy Birthday B****,” “Pick the Tard” and “The Running of the Bums.” The syndicated show runs weekdays on the station.

The segments “clearly do not represent the standards of the University of Florida or any other public educational institution in Florida,” the letter said.

The show’s content has provoked controversy at UF before. University officials previously pulled the show’s Friday broadcasts in favor of reruns because of a segment in which drunk women would appear. The segment was later dropped and the broadcasts restored.

As I wrote last month in my column, WUFT listeners upset about the loss of classical music had been complaining about Rock 104. It looks like they’ve recruited lawmakers to join their cause.

I’m waiting to hear from UF officials on their response. A copy of the letter can be found here.